A remarkable signature by Theodoor van Thulden in the Oranjezaal
In 1647 Amalia van Solms commissioned the decoration ofthe Oranjezaal, the central hall of the royal palace of Huis ten Bosch in The Hague (fig. 1). The death of her husband, stadholder Frederik Hendrik, earlier that year made her decide to dedicate the Oranjezaal to his memory. The decorative scheme therefore glorifies his life and deeds. Thirty-nine paintings were commissioned; thirty canvases hang on two levels on the walls, with a further nine on the ceiling and other wooden elements ofthe room. Painted between 1648 and 1652, they are the work of twelve well-known artists from the Northern and Southern Netherlands: Jacob van Campen, Pieter de Grebber, Salomon de Braij, Caesar van Everdingen, Pietec Soutman, Christiaan van Couwenbergh, Gerrit van Honchorst, Jan Lievens, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Jacob jordaens, Gonzales Coques and Theodoor van Thulden. This mid-seventeenth-century ensemble has been the subject ofa thorough study of the painting materials and techniques, ageing phenomena, the methods used to create a pictorial illusion, style and the relation between all these elements.1 The study has yielded many important findings, to be published in a forthcoming book on the 0ranjezaal.zA small but intriguing find is highlighted here: a remarkable signature on one of the paintings by Theodoor van Thulden. It suggests an interesting topic for further study.
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Speleers, L. (2005). A remarkable signature by Theodoor van Thulden in the Oranjezaal. ArtMatters, 2, 98–102.